Atlantic Grupa, Končar Elektroindustrija and Ericsson Nikola Tesla receive Hanfa awards for the highest level of compliance with the Code of Corporate Governance in 2022

This year again, Hanfa and Jutarnji list have jointly organised a conference titled “Corporate Governance and Sustainable Business - the Path to Climate Transition”, that gathered 250 representatives of companies, government authorities, scientific community, industry associations and interest groupings, and financial and ESG experts. 

The conference was also attended by Marko Primorac, PhD, Minister of Finance, on behalf of the Prime Minister of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, Aleksandar Damjanović, Minister of Finance of Montenegro, Sandra Švaljek, PhD, Deputy Governor of the Croatian National Bank, Željko Drinčić, President of the Capital Market Authority of Montenegro, and numerous other guests.

During the conference, on the occasion of the publication of the Annual Report on Corporate Governance, Hanfa presented awards to listed companies that reached the highest level of compliance with the Code of Corporate Governance in 2022

The award for the highest level of compliance reached on the Regular Market of the Zagreb Stock Exchange was presented to the company Ericsson Nikola Tesla. The company Končar Elektroindustrija received the award as the issuer that most complied with the Code on the Official Market. The award in most prestigious issuer group, the one on the Prime Market, was won by Atlantic Grupa, for the third year in a row.

The most important message of the conference is that the implementation of sustainable principles and the fulfilment of green and climate transition requirements will be an indispensable part of any future business operations, in particular in the light of far-reaching climate changes.

The first quarter of 2024 brings a new legislative framework for governing public companies

Reminding of successes such as joining the euro area and Schengen and reducing the deficit and the public debt-to-GDP ratio to below 67%, Minister Primorac highlighted that Croatia is close to reaching the 60% level, as well as to achieving stable public finance, despite all the challenges.

“We have been paying more and more attention to the governance of public companies, and plan to make a step forward in this regard, with a new legislative framework entering into force in the first quarter of 2024, which will define the Government’s priorities as regards the ownership of such companies and related objectives”, Primorac said.

He also added that new financial and non-financial goals would be determined that would not apply in the same manner for all state-owned companies, such as the LNG terminal as a strategic, now even a profitable project, or companies providing public services which do not necessarily make profit, or companies such as Hrvatska lutrija, that may be retained in the ownership of the Government due to their profitability.

“Clear goals set for state-owned companies can also bring about improvements, such as the professionalisation of management boards, but also the implementation of ESG policies, which will bring Croatia closer to the OECD”, the Minister said.

Path towards the green transition

In his opening speech, Mr Žigman, Hanfa’s President of the Board, draw the attention to an increasing level of compliance of domestic companies listed on the Zagreb Stock Exchange with the Code of Corporate Governance. The average level of compliance with the Code by the issuers reaches 68%. Mr Žigman also highlighted the progress recorded in Croatia as regards the implementation of the Code of Corporate Governance, which attracts more and more attention and should become a part of any business strategy.

“The implementation of sustainable ESG principles contributes to the efficiency of business operations in the long run, not only those relating to ecology or economy, but also those associated with social relationships, which should be fostered; otherwise companies risk losing clients and suffering losses. These principles should therefore be complied with as soon as possible”, Mr Žigman explained.

He also said that, in spite of all the progress made, a higher level of transparency is required in managing all types of risks, as well as further education and an increase in the share of women on management and supervisory boards. He particularly stressed the importance of the implementation of the OECD principles as regards transparency, risk management and sustainability, which will definitely be transposed into Croatian legislation.

The objective - to increase the proportion of women on management boards and in managerial positions

The results of the 2022 Corporate Governance Report were presented by Mr Jurica Jednačak, a member of Hanfa’s Board. Both he and Mr Žigman pointed out that the lowest compliance with the Code is related to the proportion of women on management and supervisory boards.

In 2022, as many as 67% of management boards and 34% of supervisory boards had no female members, while in 2021 these shares reached 65%% and 32% respectively. A 40% proportion of women on management boards and a 33% proportion of female supervisory board members is a target that should be achieved by 2026 and will be an obligation imposed on all companies following the implementation of the EU Directive on gender balance.

Mr Jednačak’s presentation in Croatian is available here.

Another lecturer at the conference was Goran Mazar, Senior Partner and Head of ESG at KPMG Germany, who stressed negative trends in global warming and rapid changes we are facing due to the consequences of climate change. 

His lecture was also a kind of introduction to the panel discussion “New Corporate Standards and Sustainability”, attended by Martina Dalić, President of the Management Board of Podravka, Dunja Mazzocco Drvar, Director of the Nature Conservation Program at WWF Adria, Ivana Gažić, President of the Management Board of the Zagreb Stock Exchange, Gordan Kolak President of the Management Board of Končar Elektroindustrija, Boštjan Napast, President of the Management Board of ENNA Group and Zoran Stanković, Vice President for Finance at Atlantic Grupa.



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